I want to thank whomever decided to use a butter knife to try and carve out a section of my skull for being kind because clearly a scalpel and general anesthesia would have required far too much work.
Second place goes to whomever took a flame thrower to my stomach. Someone ought to remind them I have a dysfunctional digestive system so I know how to power through these GI issues like nobody’s business, whatever the hell that means.
Do The Right Thing
There is a kid here who calls me dad and is a couple weeks short of turning 13. We have lots of interesting conversations about life and if had to list what I missed about being in LA these talks would be in the top five.
I like hearing his thoughts about his day and life as well as his questions because they are a big part of how I learn things too.
You see when he asks me certain things I quickly ascertain what my feelings/beliefs are on those issues. Sometimes I know exactly how I feel and sometimes I realize it is not something I ever thought about.
Maybe it is because when I was a kid someone gave me answer that satisfied me and I never chose to look backwards. Or maybe it is because there is a significant difference between what I thought I would do in a particular situation and reality.
Texas is a great example of how reality and thought sometimes don’t intersect the way I want them to and how trying to do the right thing can be a challenge.
Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness
I moved to Texas because even though I enjoy freelance work it was time to return to a steady paycheck and a great opportunity opened up there,
Spent almost a year there and did my best to help prepare the kids for a big move. They didn’t like the idea and I got a lot of “what about my friends? Why do we have to go?”
I understood that and tried to explain how things are very different now because I was a kid when there wasn’t email, Skype/Facetime or Google Hangouts.
I was a kid when people shushed you because they were talkingÂ long distanceÂ and that was a really big deal. Â Back then when people moved away they usually disappeared from your life.
It wasn’t because you and they weren’t important but because it took real work to stay in touch and life sometimes got in the way of your desire.
And since my siblings and I made friends easily it wasn’t hard to find new ones. Not Â trying to say we replaced the old one, but…
Anyway Texas turned out to be much better than I had anticipated and I really came to enjoy living there and expected it would be even better with the family.
Except life happened and plans changed.
I found out I could work remotely from LA and wouldn’t have to make the family move. Even though it is more expensive to live in LA I moved back because I figured that money doesn’t buy happiness and it would be easier for the kids.
But Is It Better?
The burning question inside my head is whether the move makes as much sense now as it did when I came back. Â Texas doesn’t have a state income tax so one of the first things I noticed was my paycheck was smaller.
Add the additional cost for gasoline and rent/buying homes and it becomes clear that from a financial perspective Texas is probably the better place to be.
I don’t have to work as hard to do certain things and that translates into some pretty big benefits. If there is a change in employment status you don’t have to work as hard to make ends meet, more money can be saved for vacations, retirement and emergency funds.
Truth is I can’t really say for certain whether it would be better without trying it out. Can’t know how easy or hard a transition it would be for the kids and that is a big part of why I didn’t insist on making the move.
The overwhelming majority of family is in LA and that is what kept us from moving 13 years ago.
Back then there were five great grandparents and four grandparents in LA, not to mentions lots of aunts, uncles and cousins.
But now there are only grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Not only can they travel, they do so the question is whether they would is moot.
So for the time being I’ll be here and see how it all goes but in spite of the uncertainty I am paying attention to life here and thinking hard about whether this was the right move or not.
Sometimes life is ever so peachy.